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I work in the city but I love living in the 'burbs so much we moved there - despite my crazy commute. The closer I get to home, the more relaxed I feel.
 
This Mama can't wait to share all the fabulous finds and 'must have' things that come my way. After all, if something's great I've gotta tell everyone! 
 
Join me as I share the ups and downs of suburban living, my journey to be more creative and organized (even with 2 super active little boys) and a whole lot of this and that. While I live in Fraser Valley, B.C., it's easy to translate the suburban experience to pretty much anywhere - and even city folk love to leave the hustle and bustle sometimes!
  
And living in the most expensive corner of the country, it takes a little savvy to keep it all together.  I'll share what I've learned - and hopefully you will, too!
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just Ask... my thoughts on people that bug us

"Summer's here and everything seems brighter and better. It's warm outside, patio parties are being planned and even work feels better... or at least if would if only "that guy" would stop doing "that thing" he does that drives me insane. I mean really...does he have to do that? He knows how much I hate it..."

Sound familiar? Everything is going just peachy until someone does something that presses one of your buttons and brings that warm fuzzy feeling to a grinding halt... again.

Here's a little food for thought...

Have you ever asked "that guy" (or maybe "that girl") what's up with the behaviour? When something bothers you, sometimes the best thing you can do is to politely let the person know. Likely they haven't got a clue that "that thing" they do irritates you. And the fact that they've done it a hundred times (I can hear you're teeth grinding from here, by the way) could simply mean that they've never noticed your reaction. If they are clueless, how can you expect them to change the behaviour? After all, it's not as if they can hear your thoughts.

It might be that what they do, they do for a reason. And if you were fully aware of the reason, it may not be so bothersome to you. They may be able to tone it down some and you may find yourself a little more tolerant of the action once you've had a discussion about it.
It might even be that they do it in retaliation to something that you do to them, albeit unknowingly. And you'll never know exactly what's up, if you don't just ask.

It's easy to complain about it to your peers (maybe it'll get back to them) or your supervisor (maybe they'll issue a cease and desist order) but if you really want to solve the issue once and for all, and be able to work near each other in the future, why not try to start up a friendly conversation to ask them about the behaviour and to let them know what it does to you.
Keep it simple and just ask if you can speak to them about something on your mind. Talk about how YOU are affected by the action, rather than blame them for it, and let them know what you'd like to see. Be sure to invite them to share with you their side of the story, too.

Remember, it's the little things that lead to big things. Small bothers repeated turn into big issues - and small gestures, like asking nicely for a conversation, can sometimes surprise you with big rewards. And this applies not only at work - you can do it anywhere with anyone.   Why not try it and see?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beach Thoughts - Summer's Regrets...

I’m at the beach.  Really. I know I said I get here a few times while I was off, but somehow the time just got away from me.  I don’t know how that happens.  One day you're packing up for 6 weeks off. The next thing you know, you’re going back to work in two days.   Scary.  Especially since I’m not ready.

There is so much going on in my life right now that I just can’t see going back.  I have to.  But I don’t want to.   I have a garden to move, plants to plant, rooms to redo, a desk to organize, a life to live – all those things I want to do with my boys that are still left undone – crafts, learning books, day trips. 

How did this happen?  I had 6 weeks off.  42 days of summer stretched before me and now.  Gone.  We didn’t go to the beach, the bird sanctuary, the playplace, Ikea, the park (ok we did once).  We didn’t play like I wanted. 

And worse.  My son is going to kindergarten.  In 3 weeks.  I’m not ready for that.  I’m not ready for this change in our lives.  It’s going to get really complicated and I’m just plain not ready for it.   Thank God my husband is going to be off for six weeks when school starts.  At least we can ease our child into this big new world of school and a new daycare.  But still.  Preschool days are over.  Endless possibities? Done.  We have a schedule and a timeline now.  It’s all new to me and, at this moment, I hate it.

I wanted to be able to take time off to raise my boys.  But we live in part of the country that makes it very difficult.  You can’t afford a home on one salary.  So we decided we’d do it this way.  Sometimes I wish it were different.   It’s not that I don’t love my job, either.  I have a fabulous job.  I work as a mediator and run the informal conflict management program for a region.  It’s awesome – a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.  To help them make positive changes.  It’s a job that makes one feel good.  It’s not the job. It’s just the timing. 

I want to be a mother more.  To be there for them. To stop missing out on these firsts, these milestones.  I wish… I wish… I wish things could be...  Different.  I’m not sure how.  Realistically – I’m a lousy homemaker.  But I try – hard.   I can’t help but think if I just had more time to get into it, I’d get it right.  Maybe not like Martha, but at least I’d have some level of organization here.

So now, while I still have a couple of years left for the younger one, I’m searching for a way to make it happen.  Somewhere out there is the answer.  Maybe I’ll write a best seller – then work from home on my next one.  Or I’ll become some awesome freelancer – and everyone will want me to write for them.  Heck, - maybe both! 

Hmm and here I am.  At the beach. My fingers getting cold, the sun gone, the last vestiges of crimson slashing across the sky.   Wishing.   Hoping that first star comes out to make it all right. I can see the moon, so it can’t be far away.   And I’m doing what I always do.  Working out the ending of the story.  Making it ok. Giving myself hope.  Telling myself I need to go back to work – I have unfinished business there.  I need to help someone.  I need to reach out.  Telling myself that I’ll figure it all out. I’ll find a way to do it all.  To get all the pieces of my life together and in harmony. (right down to exercising!) 

I won’t use the word balance.  That’s a dirty word.  It’s impossible.  But I’ll definitely get those balls all up in the air and juggle.  If I practice, I’ll drop less and less of them as time goes on.  And that’s ok by me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer in Retrospect...

Well, here I am almost six weeks into my leave (which was for six weeks) and um.. ahem.. cough.. yeah... I didn't follow through on my incredible workout plan.  In fact,  I  - are you ready?  - I slept in some days.  Really.  Now that in itself is a miracle, but the kids just seemed to cooperate.  I found my older son in his room playing Leapster quietly in bed. My little one - he was on his bed (which is a huge novelty to him since we transitioned him into a toddler bed a few weeks ago) reading his books!  While I slept.  Seriously.  I had to look for pods - you know, just in case.

I've had an amazing time off - we didn't do all the things I thought I would - but I've rearranged my home some, cleared out a shed, spent days redoing my oldest's bedroom (with an eye in the plan for it to become a shared room when the little man is old enough to join the big one - thus putting me into a room of my own for crafting/writing and dreaming -  mwa ha ha... um.. that was my evil laugh, sorry, got carried away for a moment)

I've played, laid about, cuddled, kissed and loved my wee men, gone away all by myself, done some writing, built a huge playground in the backyard (OK, that one had LOTS of help from the best friends and family EVER) entered a few contests, written my first review and giveaway, given lots of thought to my writing project that I'm taking to the Surrey International Writer's Conference this year, and well, ENJOYED myself.  I have to say, it's been good for me. 

I haven't lost any weight - BUT I haven't gained any. I think I've figured out the maintenance part, at least.  I'll get back on track - I have yoga at work starting next week, still have a pass for the local studio to use up, got another for a studio my sister and I want to try out, have my Total Body Revolution package, two feet for walking on nice days, and a whole lot of want to meet my goal in this part of my life by year's end (29lbs to go)

And I'm writing - I love writing.  I brings me joy and makes me feel alive in so many ways.  I love to share all this stuff in my head (and oh, the characters - really one can only keep so many people up there, you know?  They want out!)

And did I mention I'm with my kids?   Things all change come fall.  It's going to be a huge transition for us - Kindergarten!  School.  OMG!  I can see the tears now as we move from my oldest going to my parents to a before/after care and full day Kindergarten.  Big sobbing ones, floods of tears.. um.. probably all mine and done alone as I don't want to scare my big boy.  Yep, I'm off the first week of school.  Bit hard to be helping others at work when one is all a mess.
And now you know...  where I'm at, where I've been and what's coming.  Sort of.  I'm looking forward to getting back on track, and sad to leave this unscheduled, lovely moment in time behind.   I'm sure that I'll have lots of motivating stuff to excite you - so stay tuned.  After all, no matter what we have coming - it's all one big adventure and sharing it is half the fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My First Giveaway! "Listen to Me Please" by Ava Parnass & Dr. Ron Taffel

When I received an email asking if I would like to review the book “Listen to Me Please” by Ava Parnass RN, MSN, CS & Dr. Ron Taffel the timing was perfect.   After being home with the kids for a couple of weeks, they were wearing on me – and time outs and frustration were the name of the game that day.

Listen to Me Please Time in Not Time Out  is a great book that helps children to describe how they are feeling and opens the door to discussion about it.  It helps them express themselves through its pictures so that they can make themselves understood.  So instead of a frustrated child, you have one that feels heard.  (especially nice when they are younger and just don’t have the words to put to how they feel right when you ask them)

The idea is to find quiet time to sit down together and look through the book’s 15 pictures. There are conversation starters and plenty of parenting tips provided.    Giving your child the opportunity to share the picture that describes their day, allows you time to sit together and discuss it. If your child cannot choose one, you can help by finding one that fits in with how the day has gone (i.e. learning to play nicely together – one I think fits here at home after a day of sibling rivalry)

In our lives, there isn’t always a lot of time to just sit down and be – to really connect with our kids.  We’re so busy trying to keep up with the craziness that sometimes these special and important moments get left out.  And we all need them – both us and the kids.  I like how this is acknowledged and how the book isn’t just for kids – it’s a tool for parents, too.  And in my overwhelming world, I love that it gives me tips to make positive changes in myself.  That kind of fits in with my philosophy this year so it’s right on the mark for me.  Being a better parent is always a good thing!

Overall, I’m really pleased with the book.  The boys like it, too.  My four year old likes to share with me and the book is really helpful for chatting about his day. (heard at the dinner table this week..."so Mom, how was your day?" said very seriously and with great attentiveness to my answer)  My two year old likes to tell me about the pictures – he’s a bit young for the intent, but he’s getting there. They like the drawings and I like the intent.

For More information on this book and how to purchase it (as well as other books and great kids songs) – go to http://www.listentomeplease.com/




And thanks to the generosity of Ms. Ava Parnass, I have a digital copy of the book  Listen to Me Please and a bonus song to give away to one of my readers!  Here’s how:

Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment below to share why you’d love to have this book

Optional Entries:

  • Follow me on Twitter @rjdoghouse and  tweet the following (2X daily) -  leave a comment with link for each tweet

 Enter to Win the children's book Listen to Me Please by Ava Parnass from @rjdoghouse & @listentomepleas http://tinyurl.com/3btg8lt (8/21)



  • Follow my blog  publicly through Google Friends Connect and leave a comment

Valid World Wide
Winners will be chosen through random.org
Ends 08/21  (August 21, 2011)

Good Luck!!! J


AND THE WINNER IS.....

bigdisneyfan 

Congratulations!!

True Random Number Generator 19 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Monday, July 18, 2011

A time of renewal

Last week I escaped.  I packed my bags, got in my vehicle and made a run for the border to a secret hideaway.   Really.  For the first time (I think since I've been married) I stepped outside my life for four days and took time for me.  All by myself. 

The purpose was to write.  To get into my head and pull out those people.. I mean characters, that live in there and breathe life to them on the page.  I spent the better part of my time with my butt parked, my netbook at the ready, my thoughts open.  I spent the other part of my time wandering about, exploring a little and drinking in the peace of being in a cabin on the waterfront with tides to reveal a little or less of what lay below.  Kind of like writing, things were open to view, or hidden until the time was right.

I stayed in La Conner, Washington - or rather just over from it.  I got to see fighter jets overhead (which, yes, brought about all kinds of great romantic fantasy ideas for another story down the road!), taste the salty breeze, feel the sun on my face and really hear my thoughts.  I stayed up late writing and reading, I slept in, I ate what I wanted (Sorry Ally - I couldn't help myself! and I'll get back on track this week, it is after all a lifestyle change and change takes time right?)

I got cozy with some really hot guys (all on paper, lol) and got to know my heroine.  Turns out the men in my romance want it to be their story.  That's what you get for working with alpha-males - even if they are imaginary.

And I got to do a lot of thinking about my life.  I know that being in a wee cabin, I had everything I needed, I missed my kids dreadfully, I missed my husband and I missed our pets.  I didnt' miss the stuff I own.   hmmm..

I also came to the conclusion that I want to be a better parent - learn how to get my kids to do things because they want to, not because mommy  has finally gone over the edge and made them.  I want them to be happy with less - I want me to be happy with less.  I want us to connect, to do things together.  To make the most of this precious time while they are small.

I want to be a better me.  I want to give myself the gift of time to write, to exercise, to make good choices whether it be food, or how I use my time.  I want to embrace the possibilities, not focus on the can'ts.

At the halfway point of the year, I am just under halfway to my weigh loss goal. It's time to step up to the plate (not literally!) and get focused.  I need to reach this goal - it's more than just about weight. It's about being healthy and giving myself the gift of caring.   I want this for my kids, for my spouse, for me.  I want to be an example to us all that we can make changes and we can have it all.  Maybe not perfectly, but in my own slighly chaotic way.

I'll be chatting a bit about all of this over the next while - so stay tuned. And please - feel free to share anything you wish about making changes, learning, finding time - finding ourselves and in that, connecting with those we love.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ready Set Go! Again!!

I am off for six weeks - six weeks of summer bliss!!!  And.. exercise!  I decided that I would redo the 8 week challenge.  July 2nd was d-day.  Ok.. so the eating has gone mostly well the first two days, but with all the work around home, the exercise  not so much.  No worries, though - I'm getting up at 6am tomorrow to begin my daily routine for the I'm on worried - I'll be sure to lose those first.  :-)

I have so much I want to do while I'm off - not the least of which is getting away for a few days all by myself (which is happening and I'll share more on that later this month)  My plan is to get up at 6, workout while my husband gets ready for work, shower, get up the kiddos, breakfast for all and be ready to face the day around 8am - giving us the whole day to enjoy. 

I'm so excited to get going with my plans to work on my home, my routines, my health and spend time with family.  It's going to be great.  I do have a goal - 15lbs and 15inches. This is what I decided on - doable but I have to work for it - no coasting for sure!  I have a hair appointment booked in 8 weeks for a cut/colour - my reward for a job well done.  I say there is nothing like positive thinking, right?

And to add a little 'flavour' to my workout  beginnings?  I decided to start rearranging furniture - so there is stuff all over right now. I need to purge - my home is too small for all the things I've held onto.  I foresee a very interesting few weeks ahead!  Stay tuned and I'll share my journey! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

“Lovable Labels BlogHer’ 11 Getaway Contest- Finding Me

Lovable Labels is running an incredible contest - and as part of it, they asked "what is your greatest accomplishment".  That really got me thinking...

If anyone had asked, there was a time I’d have said my greatest accomplishment was getting the job I have now. After all, I help people in conflict.  I get to use my gift of speaking and sharing to let them work through issues, together, to an outcome of their choosing.  What could be greater?  Well, motherhood, for sure – but aside from that?

The more I’ve thought on it, though, I’ve realized that wouldn’t be the truth.  I’ve done many great things – charity work, successful projects – gosh the list is endless.   And none of it would be the greatest.

I spent my youth wishing I was popular.  By the time I hit college, I worked out 7 days a week to be skinny so I could have the ‘perfect’ body.  Seven days a week…

I ate little, and what little I ate couldn’t be counted as healthy – diet coke and a bag of chips (which I worked out to burn off).  I picked at food – hated it some days, loved it others – never really being satisfied.  I didn’t want to go back to feeling like the fat girl I thought I was in high school.  When out on a date, God forbid I actually enjoyed a meal.

That perfect body I mentioned?  It never happened.  No matter how much I worked out, or how much weight I lost, I still felt fat.  I was never happy with how I looked.  There was always another girl who was thinner, prettier or more attractive than I was.  Self-esteem… yeah..right..

I hung out with the ‘in’ crowd, was part of the student council, did well in class – but somehow it never seemed to fill that empty place inside.  The boys I liked didn’t notice me. The people I surrounded myself with didn’t see, well, me. The real me.  I felt like I was on the outside looking in.  A stranger in a crowd of friends.

The scary thing is, that feeling persisted into my adulthood. But now instead of thin as the goal, being invisible was.  Until one day I realized that the only person who could change that, was me.   I decided to step out of my comfort zone (which included a protective padding of extra weight) and make some changes.  I began to eat well –  deciding I deserved better.  I began to exercise – in fact, I participated in an online challenge, sharing my journey for all to see.  I set a goal to average a pound a week for a year.  I’m almost halfway there and right on target! 

I’ve decided that being an inspiration for others – especially my children – is important.  When you start a journey like this, you lose more than weight.  You let go of a lot of negative habits and more than a little guilt.  I’ve also come to terms that how I felt back then was my perspective – and not necessarily that of others. I am still surrounded by many of  those people from my youth and I now know I was wrong about what they saw.  I wasted a lot of years with those feelings.

Learning to let go of my negative voice, to embrace a new lifestyle, to let friends be supportive and to truly share with them is transforming my life. And no, I’m not perfect or even reaching for it - and that’s ok!  I see the opportunities. I embrace the unexpected.  I love myself. And that, all on its own, is my greatest accomplishment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

ENOUGH!!

When I talk to other women – especially other Moms – we seem to be speaking a common language.  I say it often – I’m a tired, overwhelmed, working Mother.   It’s a state of being that I don’t enjoy, but it’s my reality at this stage in the game.  I commute nearly four hours a day, I have too much stuff (which leaves me constantly trying to deal with it), two small boys, two big hairy dogs, a yard that needs a great deal of work, a half finished reno, a new active lifestyle and a job that can sometimes be a challenge as I deal with people in conflict.  Each piece of my life is manageable on its own and some of it is down right pleasurable (wee hugs make a lot of things better!)  Yet when you throw it all together, it’s easy to see why I feel I am slowly getting further behind. 

I know it’s not fair to me to compare what I accomplish at home,  how I have a hard time keeping up, with the traditional stay at home Mother of the past.  In today’s world, we are pulled in so many more directions.  Where once women kept the home fires burning – leading a very insular life that revolved around home and family first, and then community – today’s women are not only active in their home and with their families, they work outside the home, they volunteer, they home school, do their own home renos run the carpool, and oh, so much more.  All of those gadgets that were invented to make our lives easier – the dishwasher, the washing machine, the microwave – didn’t lessen the load, they simply made it possible to add more lines on the ‘to do’ list with an expectation we actually complete them.  It’s an insanity that just keeps on building, faster, bigger, more. And one day we just have to step back and say “Enough!”

We’ve grown up in a world that makes us feel we have to do it all and we have to do it perfectly. If we don’t we’re failures.  When we get overwhelmed, rather than let anyone know it, we hide.  We don’t invite people over in case they see the mess, we don’t go out because we don’t feel good about how we look, and we don’t embrace an active lifestyle because we are ashamed that we don’t have a perfect body.  It’s crazy – we know it is – but it’s the life so many of us lead.   When I commented to a friend that she needed to give herself a break – do you know what she said to me?  With tears in her eyes, she said “I don’t know how”.   Another fabulous woman (one of my fellow Mommyfit contestants) wrote a whole blog post about that well known word – Guilt.  These are but two examples of so very many.  

Dear God, if this is what we’ve done to ourselves, it’s gone too far!  We deserve better.  We deserve to love our self no matter what we look like, no matter what we are physically capable of and no matter how our home looks.  We deserve to give ourselves credit for the amazing things we do – loving our family, learning to care for our self, and the thousand things we do at home, work and for our friends.

We will never be perfect. At least not in the way that we think we should be.  We will never ever, be ‘caught up’.  That’s an illusion we chase.  If you doubt me, after a day of doing laundry, look in the hamper after everyone goes to bed. 

We need to commit to giving ourselves a break. To love ourselves for the incredible things we do, for the amazing women we are.  We need to see us through the eyes of our children.  I know mine only see me as their Mommy – the person who heals with a kiss, plays with them, comforts them, loves them with all my heart, and makes their world complete.   We must see ourselves as amazing just the way we are, with the potential to grow and learn.  We must give ourselves a break.  Only then will we be able to take a good hard look at our lives in order to figure out what we need to do to feel whole, instead of scattered.

As part of my journey, this has to happen.  One cannot live a healthier life without loving oneself just as they are.  If you can relate, won’t you join me?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reality Check

The announcement of the winner of the Urbanmommies Mommyfit2011 challenge was announced this week and well, it wasn't me.  For a moment I felt sorry for myself - after all I'd worked hard.  But when I considered just how hard the winner - Caroline Alarie - had worked, well, the choice was easy.  Over 8 weeks, I lost 13lbs and a whopping 17 inches (5 off by belly and 3 off my butt!!) and I am ecstatic over it.  After all, this is me we're talking about. You know, the girl who never - ever - exercised!  And I've changed my life into one that's got plenty of activity.  Go ME, right?  Caroline - she lost over 20lbs, 28 inches and worked out damn hard for 50 of the 56 days.  Really.  I can't say that about me.  She didn't make excuses. I did, and I've learned a lot from that.  But still, a lingering sadness.

Then something I've suspected at work was made public that same day.  A woman I work with who has fought a very hard battle with breast cancer shared with her team and coworkers that her diagnosis is terminal.   I've had this funny feeling about it for a while, but have wished so hard for her to win this war.  She is close to my age, has a little one who is close to my son's age and should be thinking of summer play dates, tea parties, prom dresses and wedding gowns for her daughter. Not this.  Dear God, not this. 

I cannot imagine what she is going through - knowing that her dream is being stolen.  It's wrong on so very many levels that I can't even begin to find the words to express it.  Knowing what a strong, generous and caring person she is, I'd say she is trying to savour every single moment, build every single memory for her family that she can and is going to live her life to it's fullest - each moment precious and treasured for herself and those around her. 

And so, not winning this challenge isn't really such a big deal in the great scheme of things.  Knowing this strong and gracious woman is.  She deserves all my wishes and a prayers.  As one mother to another, as one woman to another, I can do no less than learn the lesson she is sharing and live my life to it's fullest, knowing how precious it really is. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back on Track

The boys are feeling a little better and so today I've decided to get back on track.  After all, no one can pick me up and put me back on the rails but me.  So with a slow start (doctor's appointments/picking up necessities) I am coming back out of the station and getting ready to put on some steam!

Ally at Total Body Revolution has graciously offered us all to start our 8 weeks of follow up this week.  It seems I was not the only one to be lax last week.  I'm pretty excited about that and plan on making quite a difference in the next 8 weeks. One step at a time.  I've set activity goals for this week - and I think they will likely be the base for the following 7.  Nutrition wise, I'm still attending Weight Watchers, but I'm going to use much of the TBR plan as it makes it easy for me and I really like most of the recipes.  When I can't follow it, it's easy for me to substitute as I've figured out the points for everything and just need to find a healthy substitute that fits.

I go back to work tomorrow (likely leaving my very sick husband at home alone, poor baby) and the boys will return to their grandparents for the day.  I am extremely fortunate to have family that cares for them while we work.  They are in good hands with Nanna and her chicken soup.   There will be lots of rest for them, and lots of love.

I will go to yoga at lunch - it's something that has become quite important to me, this weekly block of time that brings me to my centre and allows me to relax and let go.  It not only stretches and builds my body, it works on my mind, too. 

And for my mind, my heart, my soul, I will set out some time to write.  Not just blogging, but working on my novel and continuing to put aside notes for the others I have in mind.  It's quite busy up there in my head - all those characters clamouring for me to put voice to them.  Some days they really push me hard, and so I've decided the best thing is to give in, write it down and keep moving in the direction of my dreams.  I've set a goal of an entry to the Surrey International Writers Conference writing contest - a must before I allow myself to register.  I've also set myself the goal of having a novel to pitch.  I might make my staying at the hotel contingent on that.  One has to start somewhere and I'm the type that needs incentive.  I'd say that's  pretty good incentive.  I stayed last year and it was well worth it.

I'm going to work on getting my home back under control - one little step at at time. While the reno goes on, who's to say I can't do little things along the way, right?  So I'll start with exercise and nutrition this week, and once my family is back to healthy, I'll add in a little time each day to purge the unneeded, highlight the things I love and make my home a place of welcome. 

I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of feeling overwhelmed by all the things a working mommy has to contend with. I'm tired of my time being overtaken by 'should's'. And so I'm going to do something about it. Starting now.  Because someday is not on the calendar.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Too much of a good thing - stuff

Well, I've been trying to get back on track, but really, I feel like a train that's been derailed at high speed.  Lessons learned?  Absolutely.  But I'm still strugglingto get back on that track.  I'm currently in a holding pattern - one that involves going around in circles being unable to land on any one thing long enough to connect.  Have you ever felt like that? 

Oddly enough it's my stuff now that's send me over the edge.  I gave my keys to my four year old on Friday as we came in from the doctor's.  He opened the front door as I got my little guy out of the car and grabbed some bags.  I'm  pretty sure that's the last I saw of my keys.  So I've been frantically searching for them all weekend. As I'm trying to go through one room at a time in a sort of methodical manner, I've realized that my home is a disaster.  Even though I have purged and purged from here, we just don't have things fitting where they should. 

I know that having little toys around and out isn't a bad thing.  But the fact that, while they do it everywhere else, my boys do not tidy up properly after themselves is driving me batty. I'm a little tired of being the nagging mom.  I've already put 3 huge boxes of their toys into storage to rotate in once they kept what they had left tidy.  But I'm nearly at the point of having them come home to only 3 things and making them keep those tidy before they earn back their toys.  But then I think that  perhaps my two year old might not really understand that. And yes, I feel guilty. And really - can you ask your kids to do what you don't do?  My stuff is a disaster, too.  Just ask my husband, it drives him crazy.

What I need is a week to just be alone and  purge and move things around and decide what stays or goes and to catch up.  Or at least feel caught up since I know that really, one is never caught up.  (stuff always ends up in the laundry basket at days end to defy you). And lets be realistic - a week alone with no kids or husband or pets to distract me isn't going to happen.  I need to get with the program and do it a little at a time consistently every day. 

Perhaps I just need our reno to be done.  I think it's gotten to me. I just want to make our home nice and I've lost the energy and drive to even do my part back there.  I have to paint the ceilings and touch up the walls, order my indoor clothes dryer etc. and haven't done a single bit of it.  I'm perfectly capable of building the closet organizer - but have I?  Nope.

What I really want to do is crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and wake up to a sparkling new home.  Since I'm pretty sure the cleaning, organizing, cooking and painting fairies are all busy, I guess I'll just have to settle for pulling up my socks, putting on my shoes and doing it myself - one step at a time.  But first.. .I think I'm going to go take a nap. (and hope my keys come to me in a vision to let me know where they are)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Scarey nights and poor food choices

Last night was a bit of a scary one.   My two year old was having trouble breathing and when the ventolin inhalers didn't work, I called Healthlink BC to speak to a nurse as I wasn't quite sure what to do.  My four year old had gone through this the night before, but not quite as badly and I needed a little guidance.  We ended up in the ER.  With his oxygen level low and his breathing laboured we got to do all the fun stuff - nebulizer treatments, blood tests, xrays, rsv test (even tried flushing fluid up a crank, tired sick two year old kid's nose and sucking it out the other side - poor technician) and more nebulizers.   We got to go home around 1am with plans to take him to his doctor this morning.

All in all, I have to say they were great at the hospital.  I felt so sorry for the gentlemen in the bed next to us, though.  Emergency is a tough place to be as a patient when you've got screaming kids in there.  

We pretty much know now that he's got asthma, so a plan to get him stable and keep him there will be needed.  We'd suspected but this was the first full blown issue we'd encountered.  Even my older son who is the poster boy for having it all never ended up like this - close, but not quite.

When I'm in the middle of things, I manage to stay focused.  It was all about my son, asking the right questions, comforting him, helping them do the tests by being calm and caring and holding him steady.  Later, after we were home and I got him to sleep, it was all about feeling a little scared by what had happened, followed by a cup of tea (I'm British born, after all) and a generous helping of Cadbury mini-eggs.  (spoiling my  perfect day of eating - although really, I missed dinner so maybe they don't count?)
I think, when we are stressed, we tend to reach out for stuff that just plain makes us feel good.  I'm not saying this is a great thing - but seriously, carrot sticks weren't cutting it for me at 2am last night. I stayed home today to take him to the doctor so I will make something healthy for us for breakfast once he wakes.  And I'll make a good lunch for the two of us, and dinner for us all. Thankfully my parents kept my older boy overnight so I can just focus on the baby today. I do go to my first Zumba class tonight, handing the reins over to Daddy.  I think he'll be ok by then.  If not, well, I'll cross that bridge if it happens.  He comes first. 

It's been a bit of a rough week. I injured my back last week and it's gotten worse.  After my chiropractor visit, I'm feeling a bit better and even my hand (nerve pain happening) was feeling better, but then I ended up carrying a heavy two year old and I think maybe it's hurting again.   I'll be heading into the weekend carefully.  My exercise was interrupted, and may only be the yoga on Tuesday and tonight's Zumba if I make it.  But that's ok.  I have 8 weeks with Ally from Total Body Revolution (she's sticking with us to help us stay focused now that the challenge part of mommyfit is over) and I'll just have to work harder for the next 7 to attain my goals.   Life happens, and you go with it.  Even when it's scary, even when it takes you off track.  I'm learning you can always refocus and move on.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thoughts on a sleepy night

Oh boy am I sleepy.  My older son woke up at 3am ( I fell asleep just before midnight) to go to the bathroom.  Now, he's able to just get up, go and head back to bed, but he always has to wake me to let me know.  Once he went back down, the  youngest one started to cry.  I got up, hugged him, changed him and went back to bed.  I did the getting up thing two more times for him.  Apparently when you are two and wake up, you want Chocolate milk.  The fact we have none is beside the fact. I told him we'd go to the store tomorrow and voila, he rolled over and went to sleep.  Why didn't I think of that the first time?

I have great news!!!  On Monday I went to pick up a couple of shirts and a pair of pants and... are you sitting down?... I shopped on the regular size side of the store!!  Gotta love it.  Yesterday I wore pants that fit to work, along with a top that fit right.  People noticed!  Someone even stopped at my office to ask if it was ok to make a personal observation, then told me they can really see how well I'm doing. It happened again today.  I'm afraid it's all going go to my head.  :-)

This weekend I shall turn my attention to my laundry room and the rest of the reno. I have some painting and some touch ups to do.  I need to get to some of this so that we can finish this project.  Well, actually I want to take pictures so I can share, so I have to finish it first, right?

Off to bed early for me as soon as I get the mini frittatas in the freezer!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Ultimate Blog Party is On!

From April 1st to April 8th, it's time for the Ultimate Blog Party, courtesy of 5 Minutes for Mom .  This looked like SO much fun, I just had to join in.  I'm a newbie at this, but I can see that all week long I will be blog hopping, making new blog friends and having a ton of fun doing so.

Hello Everyone joining in on the fun!  I'm so excited to be here.   I'm Jackie - Mommy of 2 beautiful boys - a toddler and a preschooler.   I'm on a journey to become a healthier, happier and more creative Mommy - one who won't look in the mirror and wonder who that person is, because I'm discovering more and more about her every day.  I started Weight Watchers at the beginning of January 2011 and so far I've lost just over 21 pounds.  It's made an amazing difference in my life.  I've also had a huge help in doing this as I've been a part of the Mommyfit2011 challenge, sponsored by UrbanMommies.com and Total Body Revolution.  I have to credit this for getting my mojo back, keeping me on track and finally getting me to be active.  It's been a most amazing experience!  You can read more about that over at the urbanmommies blog if you're curious.

I'm an over 40 mommy who also works full time - so I need all the help I can get to keep up with my kids! 

This journey is more than a weight loss plan, though.  I want to rediscover my creative side, and while I've been sidetracked with the never ending reno, I'm making time to write and pursue things to bring back out this side of me.  A mom's job never ends and I want to inspire everyone to make little changes that will add up to huge gains (or losses, as it were). If I can do it - anyone can do it! 

Welcome to my blog!  Leave me a comment if you like, as I'd love to come over and visit your blog, too.  There is nothing better than a cup of tea and a chance to meet new people.  :-)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Success - it does a body good

Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.   I heard this at my Weight Watchers (WW) meeting today.  I figure I’d say it differently.  For me, nothing tastes as good as SUCCESS feels!   And today, oh boy has it been successful.  I weighed in this morning and reached a milestone.  I got my 10% weight loss key chain!!!  10% of me is gone, missing, lost, and I’m never going looking for it, that’s for sure. 

I have to admit that having the stomach flu probably contributed to the loss – not being able to eat for a couple of days will do that to you.  But on the other hand, I’m back on track, satisfied with less, feeling great about me and I’m active.  HOW COOL IS THAT???

I have to give credit to Urbanmommies.com and their mommyfit2011 challenge.  With this I was lucky to receive the Total Body Revolution (TBR) package and this has helped immensely with getting me active.  After all, to move the fat off, one has to actually get moving, right?    Because the TBR program fits so perfectly with my WW program, by using their menus I was both sticking the WW plan and getting a chance to try new things.  Their menus are great and I’m eating stuff I wouldn’t have before (hello spinach, my new friend).

If you do the math, and I’m sure some of you will, you should be able to ball park my starting weight.  I’ve decided not to worry about it anymore. That’s the me that used to be.  The new me, she’s changing rapidly into the person I truly want to be.    I’ll share something with you, now that I’m at my first really big milestone, though.   I read an article about Hugh Jackman – you know, the Australian hunk, I mean actor?  In preparation for his Wolverine role he was told he had to gain weight.  The man was eating 6,000 calories a day because his 210 pound frame wasn’t ‘big’ enough. I read that and cringed.  I weighed more than him.  Yeah, so not cool or attractive when you put it in that context.  Trust me, that was one driving force in my route to change.

Honestly, I’d not truly noticed the changes in me.  I felt like the same size six girl I was in college, but year after year the pounds creeped on.  It was so slow that I barely saw it happen.  But lately, looking at pictures, I am astounded at how much I’ve changed.  I don’t want to be the woman in the pictures – I want to be the girl I remember.  I had a long talk with myself and decided that being a strong and healthy woman, who could be any size that made her feel that way, was my plan.  I still have no end goal – just a plan to lose an average of a pound a week for a year.  When I get close to that 52 pounds, no matter how long it takes, I’ll evaluate what a healthy goal weight will be for me. 

But for today I’m celebrating!  I felt better so I went to my spa day where I was pampered at Spa Utopia with a massage, facial, pedicure and manicure.  It was an amazing day, perhaps even better because of the awful week I’d had.  I feel like a wet noodle but in a good way.   Dinner is mostly courtesy of M&M meats as I feel like pretending I’m at a restaurant.  Won ton soup (fairly low in points) salmon, beans, a little rice and …. 1 crème brulée.  My big treat for the week.  I’ll savour every tiny spoonful.  Why?  Because life is to be enjoyed and I’m learning that everything, in moderation, is good.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creating Change - both body and home

Where, oh where, does the time go?   A few things have happened since my last post, that's for sure.  The biggest, I think, is that I turned 44.  Yep, 44.  I'm definitely one of those 'older' mommies.  It is said that having children later in life is good as you are more patient and you've gotten your life together, etc.  I'm not sure who said that.  I can vouch for having impatient days and I'm one who struggles with organization.   I suppose in the general realm of things, though, having a bit more life experience does have its perks. The downside?  I've not got the energy of a younger mom.  But I'm working on that!  With every pound I lose and every workout I make it through, I know I'm changing this body into one that will serve me better.  I've gotta keep up with my kids, after all!

I saw changes when we went out for my birthday. I ordered healthy things off the menu and made it through a breakfast buffet with great choices.  I was satisfied with things I'd never have chosen before taking part in the Mommyfit2011 challenge.  How wonderful is that?  It's definitely opened my horizons to some new food choices and to seeing the benefit of exercise.

Our reno continues.  We've had setbacks with illness and just plain scheduling overload, but it's nearly done!  I need a shower put in, the closet organizer added, and then it's just mouldings and touch ups.  How exciting is that?  Once we are done, I will share the big reveal here.   This is the fun part -where I get to make it pretty.  I've got lots of ideas, that's for sure.  One thing I have my eye on is a clothes dryer - one that hangs from the ceiling and you can pull down the rods to add your clothes.  It's from Sundog clotheslines and is the ceiling lift that you can see if you scroll down.  I love this idea as I hang to dry most of my work clothes.  With the cost of hydro set to rise and then rise some more, I figure something like this will be a great way to save money as well as contribute to my 'greening' of my household.

With two weeks left in the Mommyfit2011 challenge I was determined to work out everyday.  What I didn't plan on was the stomach flu hitting our family.  I've been down and out for three days (ugh) but am beginning to feel better, if weak.  Here's to hoping a day in bed (with the kids at their grandparents) will help me recover quickly.   So off I head, back to bed, so that maybe by tomorrow I can get back to my Total Body Revolution workout!  While some of the workouts are really tough, I'm much much better at them than I was 6 weeks ago. And since I plan on continuing, imagine where I'll be if I do it for another 8 weeks?  Lookout summer... here I come!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving Along!

I've literally gotten moving this week and you know what?  It's made a difference.   I'm down a little on the weight side and I'm feeling pretty peachy keen about it.    I've bought a new pair of pants - a size smaller - and the feeling that gives me is indescribable.  I'm not going to be able to contain myself when I reach my goal. I'm pretty sure I should start saving now for that.  It's gonna be one crazy shopping time.  

I'm learning that it feels good to move. This coming from me - exercise hater extraordinaire - is pretty amazing.  I love my yoga class, I am loving some of the workouts (some I love more after they are done), and I just plain love the way it all makes me feel.  I haven't had bursts of energy like this in a long time. 

It's not to say I'm perfect.  I'm not doing it everyday as I'd planned, but I am moving about more.  I get out the door on my long work days and head off for a walk downtown.  Usually with a goal of a shop at least a 10 minute walk away. I might not have much time, but that's at least 20 minutes of brisk walking.  And on a sunny day, that is just priceless.  Even better when I have good company for the walk.

A friend of mine has this as her tagline on her email signature "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."  I just love this sentiment.  In fact, I took it to heart the other day.  I was feeling pretty low over losing both our cats in just under 3 weeks and the reno was overwhelming.  I was supposed to be painting, but I was just sitting around feeling sorry for myself (I'd not exercised either, I might add)  So I thought "hey - dance in the rain..."  turned on and up some music and got to work. Yep,  it was probably pretty funny for anyone looking in the window watching the fat chick (soon to be fit chick) bopping around.  But then again, if they are looking in my window, they get what they get, right?  I was amazed what I did in just a couple of hours.   Definitely the best advise in a while.  So remember it!

There is always going to be 'something' that gets in the way of your goals and your dreams.  A birthday, an event, good news, bad news, sad news, exciting opportunities... it never ends. There will never be a perfect time to get started, to work on that project, to make a change, to stick to a plan.  So just do it - turn on that music, jump in with both feet and tackle it head on.  And if you can, dance while you're doing it.  Trust me, it's way more fun.

And soon.. the laundry room reveal.  Just a heads up, the biggie stuff is done. Once I make it pretty I'll share!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Changes are afoot!!

It finally happened!   It really did!!!  Someone came up to me and said that they’ve noticed the changes in me.   Yep, they said they could see I’ve been losing weight.  And it happened not once, but twice!  Seriously, a little more of this and it’s going to go to my head!   It is such a thrill to have people notice.  In fact, I dare say it validates what I’m doing and helps to make me a little prouder of myself.   When you are looking at losing 50 or 60 pounds (and that’s leaving me looking healthy, not skinny) it’s a pretty daunting thing.  The end seems so far away and even those little milestones don’t always feel like they count for much in the great scheme of things.  Oh sure, I know that it takes babysteps and that slowly working my way to the goal means habits changed, goals firmed and an increased chance of success over the long term – but knowing all that doesn’t make it any easier.   We all want the quick fix, right?

Yet when someone else – who does not have a vested interest in your life – says to you that they can see you are slimming down, you know you got something right!  I knew there was a good reason to make sure everyone near and far knew about what I was doing! For all of us who struggle with making change, who stumble their way along through the path to success, I say this one thing.  Share the journey and you  WILL be successful!  And the reason I know this is simple – it’s because others can see the changes in you that you can’t see in yourself.  And sometimes, no matter how much we try to love ourself, we just need a new perspective.

So say this out loud, k?   “GO ME!!!”  …repeat as necessary.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Catching up...

I thought I'd make a quick peak in here to say hello!  With all the craziness in my life, it's been tought to find time to post here this last week or so.  Our reno goes on - today I am sanding, sanding and sanding some more so I can wipe down the walls and get some painting done back there!  The back end of my house is a disaster - no laundry, one toilet missing, just, well, blech!  But - there is light at the end of the tunnel now! 

I cannot wait to get this done and to get into a big spring cleaning mode.  My house is a mess with things just having nowhere to roost at the moment. When the reno is done - I'll put away some of it and let go of the rest.  I can't wait!  That's the part I like - putting it back together.

With all this clutter, it's hard to stay focussed and it shows in my not working out a few times this week.  I have discovered that getting up at 4:30 am is NOT going to work for me.  I did plan to do my workout last night and then prep walls, but life had another twist - we had no power!  Nada, nothing. anywhere around us.  So no walk, either as it was  pitch black out there.  So today I work hard, I'll workout hard then work hard some more.

My big cheer came today at Weight Watchers. I popped in for a weigh-in and I was down a few more pounds!  I'm now at 13.8lbs lost. I'm thinking I can make it at least an even 15 in time for the next weigh in.  Especially if I work out hard and really focus on the food I am eating. 

My creative side is getting a little boost.  Thankfully I had my netbook charged last night, so I did some work on my writing in anticipation of tomorrow.  I'm heading out to a writer's workshop and have an appointment for a 10minute chitchat with a romance editor who will critique my first three pages of my novel.  Cool!  So, as you can imagine, I was editing it to death last night and still looking for better direction for the characters so I could give a really quick overview of the story.   I'm excited about getting out there tomorrow, that's for sure.  It will be a good shot in the arm of motivation for me to get back to working on my juicy romance!

In case you were wondering - I was up a pound last week at my weigh in (I didn't post it).  But the next day I was way down which left me wondering. I figure it was from the flights and being sick and once I was rested and hydrated my body went back to normal.  So hey - remember that the scale is only a moment  in time and things change!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts from 30,000 feet...

Making changes isn’t easy.   This is especially true when you are surrounded by various forms of chaos.   While one could argue that having a full plate and a tight deadline is invigorating – and back in college I might have been tempted to agree – now it’s more frustrating than anything.    It’s week two of Mommyfit2011 and I’m committed to this wonderful opportunity that Urban Mommies and Total Body Revolution have gifted me with.   Having your workouts and meals all set out for you sure does take some of the pressure off – when you’re home.  But when you are travelling things get a little bit challenging.
I’ve been away for four days this week.  Yes, with portable dvd player in hand I’ve attempted to do what I can for the workouts.  And yes, I’ve been careful about what I eat, making the best choices I can.  But it’s a bit crazy trying to follow my plan when I’m on the other side of the country limited to the food choices in the cafeteria and without the tools to do some of the workouts in the plan.  I’ve decided I can look at these past four days as a big fat failure (after all I wasn’t perfect – I did eat some jello, a rollo and another small treat  - all not planned!) or I could look at it as finding my ability to move forward when facing speedbumps.  I think I’d prefer to see it as the latter.   
When looking for the silver lining, I realized that my coworkers were showing me such incredible support – praising what I’ve accomplished so far since I began my journey in January – doubly praising me for staying so committed to the TBR program out there even when it was tough, and letting me whine when I could barely walk up the stairs or get in and out of my chair due to the pain in my thighs.  That one they thought was pretty funny I’m sure.   My husband was a great coach on the sidelines via the telephone as he encouraged me to do something, anything, even though I didn’t much feel like it.  And I still managed to work out some and eat well despite the fact that I had a cold, was messed up by the change in timezones and was living out of my own safe environment.    I even reached out to those I didn’t know to share what I was doing with the Mommyfit2011 challenge and I left with well wishes from strangers who had become something more over the course of our stay.  Hey – the more people you’d let down by failing, the harder you try!  And I’ve decided that I am one of those people I’d let down by not doing my absolute best.
It’s easy to give up and go back to bad habits when you don’t feel safe, but if you stretch just that little bit out of your comfort zone, you make progress.   If you make progress, no matter how small, it’s a positive thing.   Changing my way of thinking from condemning my mistakes to acknowledging my human side is one of the things I want to accomplish this year.  This gentle way of learning to love the ‘me’ness of me is just as important as learning to love and care for this body I’ve been given.  After all, just like my writing, I’m work in progress, too. 
Things don’t get easier when I come home – with a funeral tomorrow, a new baby to visit on Saturday, a child’s birthday party on Sunday, the renovation in progress on our home, and the general chaos around our home lately, it’s likely to be just as challenging.  I’m thinking all I can do is take it one day at a time, taking those babysteps to reach my goals.  All I have to do is remember life’s like that – a never ending series of big and little speedbumps along the way that challenge my mind, touch my heart, and push my body to it’s limit from time to time.   And that’s ok – Living the incredibly blessed and beautiful life I have is more than worth it.   
Next stop – my bed … and the alarm set so that I don’t miss my morning workout!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Working on Working out!

It's Day 6 of me doing the Mommyfit 2011 challenge with the Total Body Revolution (TBR)system.   I have to admit that I'm really liking it.   Even though I had to travel for work, I was still able to take the basics from the nutrition portion and follow along.  (thanks to the Tim Hortons Chicken Wrap - adjusted for a wee bit of  sauce and Safeway's vast deli / food section)  I stayed out of the restaurants with their sauces and saute-ing.  And while not perfect, when I converted it all to Weight Watchers (WW)points - aiming for only healthy things, I was right on target with the TBR plan and WW guidelines.  (they have a great plan on TBR - it's all good for you, tastes good and if you are used to WW you will find that it matches right up with all the power foods for healthy eating)

I will say that doing exercise in a hotel room wasn't easy - and I prefer to do it at home, even though at the moment it's marginally better spacewise (renos - they spread to all rooms)  I do really suck at the exercise part, though.  Seriously - my muscles appear to be missing when I need them.  I can barely do a pushup, never mind a bunch of them, same with curl ups off the floor.  Umm.. Curl where?  up?? how???  I did crunches - it'll come, right?

My son got up to 'help' me this morning - I was lying there trying to do a curl up - opting for the crunch and he offered to help me up - said he was strong, he could help me.  yeah... it must have looked just that bad to him.  I was too out of breath to explain until later.   So he hopped about around the room, imitating what I was doing and cheering me on.  Gotta love kids!  (and envy their energy)

One more day and it'll have been a week.  And funny enough, I have discovered I kind of like doing exercise first thing.  It won't work a few days next week when I work in Quebec (seriously, my body KNOWS it's 3am not 6am) but once back home I'll be getting up in the wee (and I mean wee - I already get up at 5am) hours to get it done.  Even the birds will be impressed.  Or they would be if they were up yet, that is.

So if you think you don't have time, can't get up for it, don't have space - think of me and JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day Two...Mommyfit2011

Day Two of the UrbanMommies.com Mommyfit2011 challenge!   I managed to survive the workout yesterday – mostly because my husband got up early to do it with me and I wasn’t caving in front of him.  Today I’m out of town for work and I planned it all so well.  I had my breakfast,   packed my lunch and snacks for the day and had planned out the rest of my meals/snacks for tomorrow.  It’s tough as I can’t follow the menu plan exactly when I’m away (no kitchen!) but I had a good plan in place.  I packed the portable dvd player, my workout gear, the book to remember all I need to eat, the journal.. .Except the part where I pack the note to myself to know what work out to do. Oops!  Thankfully one of the other contestants twittered it to me.   There’s a lot to be said for supportive competition!  I always figure you go farther helping each other up and it looks to me as if we are all like minded.  After all, we are all winners just for the effort and change we will make in our lives. 
I plan on getting up early tomorrow (6am, which is really sleeping in for me, but without my commute I’ve got plenty of time to work out.  I’m just not so sure my body is going to feel that way.  Let’s just say that today’s cardio workout wasn’t pretty.   In fact, I sucked at it – however, I plugged along doing it as best as I could.  Picture me moving my chunky body around in the limited floorspace of my hotel room, doing the no impact stuff so I don’t disturb anyone below.   Oops watch out for the desk! the table! The bed!    
I spent the earlier part of my evening listening to a very involved catfight outside my window.  I’m right on the waterfront here, and there is  brush down near the water.  I think the cats like the hidden aspect – and the fact we can’t throw things at them if we can’t see them. Turns out catfights can be quite motivating.   I weighed my choices – on the one hand, noisy cats vying for supremacy ( or at least some hot kittie chick)  and on the other – workout knowing the sound of my breathing heavy would drown them out. It did take a few minutes, but the workout won.
I’m feeling pretty good about making it through the whole workout.  I may not have been awesome at it, but I’m learning and I’ll get better.  And for anyone reading this – if I can do it, you can, too.  If I was in high school right now I’d be voted the least likely to be active and I’m stoked about changing that perception. At  forty something  I’m also pretty certain I’m  the oldest Mommy in the competition and I need to show the world that us older Moms can makes positive changes, too.
Ps… right about now I’m thinking the person who said that 40 is the new 30 was on drugs…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Getting Ready and other fears...

With every new endeavour I suppose there must also come some measure of trepidation - that moment when you think "Dear God, what have I gotten myself into!?" .  I think that moment is now.

The package arrived.  I had fervently wished for this opportunity, alternately prayed and reached out to any and all superstitious fulfillment avenues I could think of to make a wish.  I wanted to do this, to make a life-altering change.  After all, I'd taken the first steps toward a transformation hadn't I?  I'd joined Weight Watchers and as a (mostly) faithful follower of the program, I was seeing success.  I'd put myself out there and shared the start of my journey through this blog, announced it on facebook and when the final verdict came - I was "IN", heck, I even set up a twitter account!

All this leads to me participating - with four other women - in the Mommyfit2011 challenge sponsored by UrbanMommies.com and Total Body Revolution (who awesome product arrived in "the box")

There is no going back.  I am committed to an 8 week fitness and nutrition plan that will help to transform my body on this journey I've begun.  I said I wanted to write this year, well write I shall - here in my blog, on twitter, facebook, my journal and through their forums. 

It's a dream come true.  I've been given the gift of a new me and all I have to do is follow the very clear directions and engage myself.  So why the fear, the worry?  I'm not sure. Is it possible to be both drawn to and repelled by change? Maybe so.  Or maybe it's because it's going to require a little hard work and commitment.  It's just so much easier to quit and think about what could have been rather than what might be.

I'm good at encouraging others - drawing out the issues, reframing them and helping to build a plan to a new future.  After all, it's what I do for a living.   I guess it's just I time I believed in myself and my abilities.  It's time to cut myself some slack (do any of us do this enough?).  I know I can do this.  It's physically possible, albeit a lot of planning will be needed to make it go smoothly.  Now to create that sense of urgency, of possibility and, yes, hope.  Won't you join me?   Ready, Set... Engage!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Passionate about my Pantry

Yes, you did read that right. I am so excited to be setting my pantry up again.  As you know, the reno goes on, but my pantry is done!  I'll include some pictures so you can see the before, during and after.   All I have left to do is wash the  floor (I forgot in my excitement to put stuff back in!).  The 'before' pictures are actually from when we were buying this house.  I was so busy trying to clear it out for the demo back there, that I forgot to take a picture.  Imagine it looking like this inside, only twice as full.    I decided that when it went back together I wasn't using it as a storage space.  It did hold my china (boxed up until my kids are a bit older) light bulbs, batteries, paperwork, and a lot of 'stuff'. 

I think part of this journey isn't just about getting me into shape and feeling good about myself, it's also about creating a home that I love to live in.  My pantry is a big start!



It's hard to tell, but there was a big gap between the shelves facing the door (picture 1) and the shelves at the back (picture 2)  It was wasted space there.   What we did was move the reinstall the closet that used to be at the back of the  pantry (door facing out to the hall behind the current wall) and moved all the shelves up so now they are a nice tight 'L'. 

Here's a 'during' photo.  I painted the whole thing in a cream colour.

Ahhhh. paint (Behr Ultra in Cafe Cream - low VOC - which is good as it's a confined space plus come with primer in it, great as I was painting thirsty wood and fresh drywall)

Now it's done - and I've been putting things back in.  I absolutely LOVE my tupperware modular mates.  They are just the best for a pantry.    I've had some of mine over 20 years now (I really did buy them young). And they still seal just as good as when I bought them.  See the link if you live in the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley area - Kenn is the best tupperware guy anywhere.

See how it looks now!  Please ignore the floor and the fact I've not quite finished the moldings - I'll paint and put those in when we get the mitre saw.






Putting this back together is huge for me. Our house is a disaster zone and in order to concentrate on my Mommyfit2011 challenge, I need to create some order in here. It's improving as we get stuff done though!  And you'll see in another post that I went to war on toys...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Grand Start! Watch out Healthy, Here I Come!

Today is an AMAZING day!   I am soooo happy to announce that I've been chosen as one of the five finalists in the Mommyfit 2011 contest sponsored by urbanmommies.com .  I had those fingers crossed and I guess saving up all those wishes I got while driving over railroad tracks paid off!

I will be receiving the Total Body Revolution system shortly (it will be sent tomorrow) and once here, things will get moving (literally, like my whole body - scarey!)  You will all have the most exciting privilege to know all that's going down (watch the weight lost counter on the side, k?). 

With my decision to become kinder to myself - to give myself the gift of good health in all ways - Physical, Mental and Emotional - this ,the opportunity to be a part of this just seems so meant to be.  I have to tell you all that while I was answering the questions I sent back in, I had a sense of how life changing this could be.  Now we get to see just how things will evolve!

I'm letting go of a lot this year - all those things that clutter up and make a mess of life - and letting in all those things that make life the exquisite journey that it is.  Love, family, joy, good friends, accomplishment and a sense of self-worth.  I've now got the perfect kick-start to my journey and I couldn't be happier!

Monday, January 31, 2011

To Every Season...

There is an end. 

This weekend has been a tough one - while the weigh in went great, Saturday's great planning went down the tubes.  We had to put our cat, Boomer, to sleep.  He was old and his health had taken a sudden turn for the worst.  It's a sad time around here as he's been a part of our lives for 15 years.  He came to us in January 1996 at about 6 months old.   Farewell Boomer, enjoy things on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

And a beginning.

Our renovation is underway - the back part of our home is being redone out of necessity, and over the next while I'll share what we've been doing.  I'm enjoying the planning and, of course, the shopping!   and I'm taking before, during and after photos so you can see me play with my home. This, while not hands on art or writing, is definately a chance to exercise my creative side.  Making a home is, I think, one of best creative arts.  

And a little bit of nifty news - I made it to the semi-finals for Mommyfit 2011.  From the 17 contestants chosen so far, 5 will be picked as finalists for an 8 week healthy living makeover.  You can bet your bottom dollar I've got my fingers crossed.  It would be the absolutely coolest thing!  And I can't think of greater motivation than publicly (in a big way!) committing yourself to something like this to help get back on track!

If you'd like to know more, check out http://www.urbanmommies.com/  - it's a great resource for us, too - so if you've got little ones, sign up for their newsletters.


ps... miss you Boomer

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yoga - another form of pretzel torture?

I did it.  I went back to yoga class today at lunch.  I really like yoga, but thinking about exercise always makes me start to look for excuses, you know?   Today I shut down the naughty voice in my head, got changed, grabbed my mat and ran downstairs for the class (actually I took the elevator since I don't know the codes to actually get back onto the floor once I'm in the stairwell - maybe I should um.. look into that)

It was a new instructor and let me tell you, this was a much tougher class than the old one.  We had to hold those poses and my arms and legs were shaking when we were done!  She kept saying to let the pose go when we were ready.  Ready? Oh yeah!  but I wasn't going to be first so I held it there a few more seconds.   And you know what?  When I was done I was so proud of myself.  I did it and I felt great in that weird way you feel great after you push your body.  I'm going back next week. 

What have you done to spice up the movement of your body?   If you've a yen to try yoga, I suggest taking a class with a fairly hands on instructor to help you at first (all through this session I kept hearing my old instructors voice saying not to lock your joints, shoulders back into "angel wings", keep aligned, neutral hips... I loved how she guided a newbie like me)  My new instructor came by a few times and gently moved me - which I take as a sign that I'm better than I was in the beginning thanks to the previous learning.

Oh, back to you...  if you can't get to a class look for a video - GAIAM makes a good selection and I like theirs - they aren't an exercise video, they are a yoga video.  So you'll learn how to do the movements.  I liked the conditioning for women one where they had 3 people to watch and you follow the one at your level.  Most important - it should never hurt. If it does, ease back, listen to your body and chat with your health care professional first if you need to.

Yoga's not your thing?  Consider an exercise class, a walking club, swimming - anything!  I especially like the ones that allow you time to feel and think. That's where creativity is conceived - so nurture your body and a wonderful  project just might follow!

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Journey to a New Me...

It's typical that at the start of a new year, we begin to look at change.  After all, there are 365 clean squares on the calendar just waiting to be filled.  At this point, anything is possible!  Usually we get in there all gung ho, then fizzle, then hope no one notices that we've quit reaching for those possibilities.  This year, I'm all about changing that!

I've suddenly realized that those little squares on the calendar disappear quickly, and that somewhere along the way, decades have gone by.  Yes, not years, but decades!    And while those pages were turning and the years were rolling, piece by piece, I began to go missing.  Oh, not in the literal sense - actually I've expanded rather well in that regard! No, it's been a more a gradual lessening of the "essence of me" evolving into the "essence of we".   I am, after all, a wife and a mother, so it goes without saying that a little piece of me follows those I love wherever they may be.   But over time I've left a bigger piece of me out there - enough to wonder who I am when I look in the mirror.  And so I decided that 2011 would be my year of finding me.   I know that underneath my clutter, my weight, my responsibilities, my roles and the expectations of all that the essence of me is waiting to burst free again.

This is the year I make that happen!!! 

I've already joined Weight Watchers and I've lost 5.8lbs in my first two weeks (way to go me!) and I'm shooting for at least 20lbs total by my birthday in March.  I'm focussed on the good feelings, and except for the unfortunate incident with the KD crackers this evening - I'm happily following the program without any worries. (It's ok, I've accounted for said KD crackers.  and learned they are NOT worth using up all of my extra  points for)

My plan is to lose weight, get healthy (I do have to keep up with a toddler and a preschooler, afterall), and to allow my creative side to make an appearance through my writing, scrapbooking and my renovation and restoration projects in my home.  I itch to create and so I shall. I'll create me (I'm aiming for luscious, not skinny. - don't you just love that word - Luscious.  Makes me think of Marilyn Monroe, May West and Jessica Rabbit)I'll create my work of fiction and I'll create a home that soothes and heals rather than screeches and stresses. 

It's going to be one fun ride.  Won't you join me?